Other NJ News

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

South Orange Traffic Stop on April 27 Credits: TAPinto SOMA
abee9d67f91e05c1ad09_traffic_stop.jpg
abee9d67f91e05c1ad09_traffic_stop.jpg

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would contact South Orange Village President Sheena Collum in response to the traffic stop, according to police dashcam video of the incident obtained by TAPinto. 

According to the video of the April 27 incident, Lawson-Muhammad was pulled over just before 8 a.m. on Walton Avenue, near the border of South Orange and Maplewood.

Sign Up for E-News

She is heard arguing with police and stating “my name is Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, I’m on the school board, I’m a community member of this town and I am sorry if I was speeding, I didn’t realize I was speeding.”

The police officer said she was stopped for going 37 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone, to which Lawson-Muhammad replied, "I'm very sorry."

She then asks if her child can be let out of the car to walk to school, and the officer agrees and the child is seen exiting the car and walking on the sidewalk away from the vehicle.

She is later heard saying, “and I’m scared of cops, because you might hurt black people," according to the dashcam video.

When she asks if the officer is from Maplewood or South Orange and he replies South Orange, she says, “great, I’ll call Sheena right now,” likely referring to South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.

When the police officer asks for her driver’s license and insurance card, she cannot find the license initially and only an expired insurance card, according to the dashcam video.

Later, when the officer returns from his vehicle, he tells her that she is getting a summons for speeding and another for not having a valid insurance card. He says the latter charge will require her to go to court to prove she was insured at the time of the stop. 

Lawson-Muhammad then begins to argue, saying, “for me to have to go to court, for me to have to go to court, now you want me to go to court? I don’t want to go to court, I have insurance.”

When the officer says he cannot void a ticket once it is written she says, “I’ll call Sheena, and your skinhead cop chief, too."

Moments later the officer says "drive safe" to which Lawson-Muhammad replies "you too," and drives away. The dashcam video ends, with the time showing that it is about 8:09 a.m.

TAPinto/SOMA reached out to Lawson-Muhammad via email and phone for comment, but she did not respond. School Board President Elizabeth Baker also could not be reached for comment.

Contacted Tuesday, South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll declined to comment.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article was published at  9 a.m. and updated at 10 a.m. to clarify the comment from Lawson-Muhammad about the "skinhead cop" was directed towards Police Chief Kyle Kroll, and not the officer with whom she was speaking.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Honoring Sacrifice and Service on Memorial Day

May 25, 2018

On Monday, May 28, 2018, our Nation celebrates our most solemn event, Memorial Day.  In Berkeley Heights tradition, we will honor those who sacrificed themselves so that we may continue to live in the greatest country on earth.  I invite all residents to join us for the parade festivities and, most importantly, gather at our Veteran’s Park for a brief ceremony.

America has ...

Logic and Sensible Spending Take Priority

Logic.  It's what people use when endeavoring to complete things in the most sensible order.  Everyone knows that "logic" means sequencing events in a formulaic, predictable manner.  We learned this at a young age, as we observed Star Trek on TV and came to understand why Captain James T. Kirk relied on Spock as his first officer because his strategic plans were ...

I will draw on my experience to deliver a great future for Berkeley Heights

I am impressed with the day-to-day leadership of our Mayor and Town Council and I hope to help them continue to do great work. As I have been doing my research since deciding to run for a seat on our Town Council, I have learned a few things about all the work that has been happening in recent years.  For example, while plans for the Stratton House development were recently announced, our ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Union County College President Received Prestigious Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society

May 26, 2018

CRANFORD – Union County College’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin was one of 35 college presidents from throughout the nation to receive a Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction during PTK Catalyst 2018, the Society’s annual convention, in Kansas City, Missouri, held from April 19-21.

The award honors college presidents who have demonstrated ...

A Better Summer with the Y: Join by May 31 and Have Your Joiner Fee Waiver!

From now through the end of May, new members joining the Berkeley Heights YMCA will have their joiners fee waived, because at the Y we believe that everyone deserves to reach their health and wellness goals. With a savings of up to $95, you can focus on the perks of being a Berkeley Heights YMCA member:

Unlimited attendance to more than 100 group fitness classes a week
• State of ...

The New Providence 2018 Memorial Day Parade Begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 28

The Borough of New Providence and American Legion Post #433 invite all to attend this year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, 2018.   The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m., rain or shine, at Springfield and Central avenues. Post 433 and the New Providence Community Activities Department have co-sponsored the town’s Memorial Day Parade for more than 65 years. The parade, ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Cycling Champ Laura Van Gilder Returns to Somerville Memorial Day to Defend Race Title

May 26, 2018

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Laura Van Gilder, 54-year-old cycling champion from Cresco, Pa., will return to defend her title at the 75th annual Tour of Somerville on Memorial Day, attempting an unprecedented fifth win in the 25-mile women's race, just one of several races that begin at 10:30 a.m..

The Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, often referred to as the Kentucky Derby of ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_69a5db118db45d8f5de0_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

Carousel_image_c9562615f730fddb6122_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_9eff927f48bc74910214_committee

Fri, June 1, 6:00 PM

Senior Center of the Chathams, , Chatham Township

Senior Center of the Chathams Glorious Garden ...

Food & Drink Home & Garden

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...